As we discussed in last week’s blog, nurses suffer back injuries at a rate that is much higher than any other occupation. These injuries are extremely debilitating and can mean a nurse is out of work for months or even years. Even with using proper lifting techniques, nurses can still suffer spine injuries requiring them to use workers’ compensation insurance.
Back injuries are common among nurses. Those who have had back injuries know how serious they are and how it can be hard to do anything. Nursing schools teach nurses how to lift and move patients, such as keeping their back straight and bending at the knees and hips. But, these lifting techniques are hurting nurses and experts say there is no safe way for a nurse to lift and move patients.
There are many reasons why manually lifting a patient is dangerous. First, many times nursing staff have to move patients when the patient is far away, like in their bed. They also have to bend over to move the patient. The bending over disengage the bones along the spine and the discs take most of the force. The lifting of patients can cause tears in the end plates which are films above and below each disc. The tearing can lead to the discs collapsing over time. It also doesn’t help to move patients using two or more nursing staff. Injuries can still occur.
Nursing staff who are injured on the job are entitled to workers’ compensation insurance. An attorney who specializes in personal injury can help a nurse get the benefits they deserve. Workers compensation can be used for medical expenses and lost wages, ensuring a nurse gets the medical care they need while not being able to work.
Source: npr.org, “Even ‘proper’ technique exposes nurses’ spines to dangerous forces“, Daniel Zwerdling, accessed June 29, 2017.